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Are Prescription Video Games The Next Frontier In Medicine? – BOSS Magazine

The healthcare sector continues making significant advancements, but could the next one be through video games?

According to a new study from the University of California, San Franciscos (UCSF) Neuroscape lab, this unlikely source may be the healthcare sectors next frontier.

Neuroscape Lab

For over a decade, the team at Neuroscape lab has tested video games in hopes of developing supportive methods to treat mood disorders like depression and brain disorders such as Alzheimers disease, ADHD, autism, and others.

Adam Gazzaley, Director at Neuroscape Lab, and his team believe concentrated doses of video games can improve multitasking and memory issues. Additionally, they think schools should use video games to assist children with ADHD.

Gazzaley further suggests that first-person shooter video games like Call of Duty have shown to benefit high cognitive abilities, such as multitasking and focusing for long stretches of time.

There are two ways for people to take back control: modifying behavior or enhancing the brain, said Gazzaley.

Which is why the Neuroscape Lab has partnered with Boston-based tech company Akili to bring their studies to fruition.

Neuroscape Labs Project: EVO

Together, Neuroscape Lab and Akili have developed Project: EVO, a mobile game that could be used someday as a prescription video game for children with ADHD.

The two are seeking to validate the game so it can stand out from other brain-training companies. To do so, Project: EVO must go through the process of being FDA approved.

The project has recently entered the clinical trial phase, which typically lasts one to four years, with only 25 to 30 percent moving onto the final stage.

So while Project: EVO has gotten far, it still has a way to go.

If the does FDA approve the game, it will lead to the U.S.s first ever prescription video game. Moreover, the approval will also bring forth a new and innovative method of treatment: digital medicine.

In addition to this particular game, Neuroscape is working on more video games. One is called Body Brain Trainer, and the other is a still in-development video game called Labyrinth, involving an HTC Vive and a Virtuix Omni platform.

The Pushback and Support

As expected with any innovative development, the concept of video games being medically beneficial has received criticism.

In 2014, a group of 69 scientists and researchers published an open letter in opposition of brain-training video games.

We object to the claim that brain games offer consumers a scientifically grounded avenue to reduce or reverse cognitive decline when there is no compelling scientific evidence to date that they do, said the open letter.

Additionally, Alan Smithers, Director of the Center for Education at the University of Buckingham, disagrees with Gazzaleys studies.

The effectiveness of these studies needs to be judged with some care, said Smithers. He believes the studies are not definitive and should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Interestingly, a group of 120 scientists and researchers issued a dissentin response to the group that stood in oppositionwhere they pointed out that a substantial and growing body of evidence shows that certain cognitive-training regimens can significantly improve cognitive function.

Matt Omernick, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Akili, also spoke about the growing body of evidence mentioned in the dissent.

I think its just that the evidence hasnt been clearly shown yet and thats what were trying to do here, he explained.

Similar Tech Already In Use

While brain-training video games may be a novel concept, it is not the only form in which technology has crept its way into the healthcare sector.

For years now, medical schools have used virtual reality simulators to train their students. This use of technology has become so prominent it is seen as essential to the training process.

This center supplements the hands-on training our students receive during supervised direct patient care and provides a safe environment where they can develop advanced skills critical to starting residency training, said Heidi Chumley, MD, MBA, Executive Dean and Chief Academic Officer at American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC).

AUC just celebrated the opening of their new 6,800 square-foot simulation and education center, which employs virtual reality to enhance surgical skills and simulates operating room scenarios as well as patient meetings.

Technology is also currently under development to help simulate the sense of touch during surgeries.

To be able to feel the tissue and the way the instruments feel in your hand would ultimately be the holy grail of what we want to accomplish, said Dr. Brian Gantwerker, MD, Medical Advisor at Level Ex.

And for simulating a disaster, its much better to have a problem in the virtual world and learn how to manage it. This adds a layer of safety and space to learn an instrument.

Here To Stay

The team at Neuroscape is well aware of the controversy surrounding their work with video games and maintain that their efforts stand apart.

Neuroscape tries to reach beyond gamified exercises and create engaging and immersive video game experiences. We are increasingly integrating both cognitive challenges and physical movement, said Gazzaley.

According to The Verges Lauren Goode, they were not far off. Goode reported that the physically challenging video games she tested out were markedly different from just sitting at a computer screen.

Gazzaley remains hopeful that these video games will impact peoples lives positively.

If these games could be used to improve the functions of the brain, we could make a big difference, he said.

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Are Prescription Video Games The Next Frontier In Medicine? – BOSS Magazine

Yoga May Boost Aging Brains – Carlisle Sentinel

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 9, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Older women who practice yoga may have greater “thickness” in areas of the brain involved in memory and attention, a small study suggests.

Researchers found that even compared with other healthy, active women their age, yoga practitioners typically had greater cortical thickness in the brain’s left prefrontal cortex.

That could be good news because, as the researchers pointed out, cognitive impairment from aging is usually associated with less volume in cortical areas of the brain associated with attention tasks, and decreases in memory.

But experts said it’s not clear what conclusions can be drawn from the study’s findings.

The findings are based on one-time brain scans of fewer than 50 women — and they do not prove that yoga, itself, altered anyone’s brain structure, according to senior researcher Elisa Kozasa.

The brain differences might have existed before the women ever tried yoga, said Kozasa, a researcher at Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

But the study does add to a bigger body of evidence on yoga and brain function, said Dr. Helen Lavretsky, a researcher who was not involved in the work.

“This contributes to the evidence that yoga practice has neuroplastic effects on the brain that may translate into other health benefits — like better mood and cognition,” said Lavretsky, a professor-in-residence of psychiatry at the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine.

“Neuroplasticity” refers to the brain’s ability to reorganize itself and form new connections among cells over the course of a lifetime.

In her own research, Lavretsky has found some evidence that yoga benefits older adults’ brain function.

In a recent pilot study, her team tested the effects of weekly yoga classes among 25 older adults who were showing early signs of memory problems. The participants were randomly assigned to 12 weeks of yoga — which included some movement, breathing practices and meditation — or 12 weeks of “brain games.”

In the end, both groups were doing a little better on standard memory tests, compared with the study’s outset. But the yoga group showed a bigger change.

According to Lavretsky, it’s possible that yoga benefits the brain over time by easing day-to-day stress. Or, she said, yoga practices might have a more direct effect on “brain fitness.”

Kozasa pointed out that yoga involves a “cognitive component,” where practitioners hone their ability to concentrate while consciously holding poses, performing breathing exercises and meditating.

Her team was interested in whether long-time practitioners actually show a difference in their brain structure.

So they performed brain scans of 42 women age 60 and older. Half of the women regularly practiced yoga — for the past 15 years, on average. The rest were healthy and physically active, but did not practice yoga.

Women in both groups also had similarly high education levels.

“Even with those similarities,” Kozasa said, “the yoga group presented a greater cortical thickness in brain regions involved in executive functions such as attention.”

However, there could be other explanations for the findings, Lavretsky said — such as differences in the two groups’ other lifestyle choices, sleep habits, or perceived stress levels.

Kozasa agreed. What’s needed, she said, is a long-term study that charts brain changes in yoga practitioners and non-practitioners over time.

And while some research suggests that yoga boosts memory and attention, it’s not clear whether the practice can curb older adults’ risk of dementia.

“It is too soon to state that yoga can protect your brain against dementia,” Kozasa stressed.

Still, she said, there’s no reason for older adults to delay trying yoga if they are interested.

“If practiced with an experienced instructor, older adults may get benefits from yoga for their mental and physical health,” Kozasa said.

The findings were published online recently in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.

The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has more on yoga.

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Yoga May Boost Aging Brains – Carlisle Sentinel

2017 Tennessee Senior Brain Games call for teams: time to compete! – The Tomahawk

The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability, in partnership with the nine Area Agencies on Aging and Disability, proudly announces the upcoming season of the Tennessee Senior Brain Games, now in its fifth year. This is an annual, statewide, team-based trivia competition designed to increase public awareness of brain health and its impact on ones quality of life.Interest and participation continues to grow every year. If an older adult organization wants to participate, this is still anyonesany teamscompetition. The only teams without a chance of winning are those that choose not to play.For the next several months, teams will compete within their districts to reach the East, Middle, and West Tennessee semi-finals. The winners of those semi-final rounds will then proceed to Jonesborough, Tennessee on Thursday, October 19, 2017 to take on the Olde Towners from the Jonesborough Senior Center, last years champions. The winning team takes home the cup for a year, earns $2000 for its organization, and gets to host the 2018 championship in their hometown.We all want to stay healthy and independent as we age. To do that, we need to exercise both our bodies and our minds. Ongoing research is helping us learn more about maintaining a healthy brain. While age and family history are risk factors, other things such as diet, exercise, and lifestyle are also believed to have an influence. You can make a difference in the quality of your life by making healthy choices and remaining active.Visit tn.gov/aging for more information about the competition and to register your team for this years Tennessee Senior Brain Games. If you have questions, call Annalea Cothron at 615-770-3901 or email her at annalea.cothron@tn.gov.

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2017 Tennessee Senior Brain Games call for teams: time to compete! – The Tomahawk

2017 Tennessee Senior Brain Games call for teams: Time to compete! – Winchester Herald Chronicle

The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability, in partnership with the nine Area Agencies on Aging and Disability, proudly announces the upcoming season of the Tennessee Senior Brain Games, now in its fifth year.

This is an annual, statewide, team-based trivia competition designed to increase public awareness of brain health and its impact on ones quality of life.

Interest and participation continues to grow every year. If an older adult organization wants to participate, this is still anyonesany teamscompetition. The only teams without a chance of winning are those that choose not to play.

For the next several months, teams will compete within their districts to reach the East, Middle, and West Tennessee semi-finals. The winners of those semi-final rounds will then proceed to Jonesborough, Tennessee on Thursday, October 19, 2017 to take on the Olde Towners from the Jonesborough Senior Center, last years champions. The winning team takes home the cup for a year, earns $2,000 for its organization, and gets to host the 2018 championship in their hometown.

Stay healthy and independent as you age. To do that, exercise bodies and minds. Ongoing research is helping teach more about maintaining a healthy brain. While age and family history are risk factors, other things such as diet, exercise, and lifestyle are also believed to have an influence. You can make a difference in the quality of your life by making healthy choices and remaining active.

Visit tn.gov/aging for more information about the competition and to register your team for this years Tennessee Senior Brain Games. If you have questions, call Annalea Cothron at 615-770-3901 or email her at annalea.cothron@tn.gov.

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2017 Tennessee Senior Brain Games call for teams: Time to compete! – Winchester Herald Chronicle

How to keep your brain sharp in older age – Medical Xpress

New research has revealed which mentally engaging activities best keep the brain sharp. Credit: University of Exeter

New research from the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) has revealed which mentally engaging activities best keep the brain sharp.

The research, involving Professor Linda Clare, of the University of Exeter, a member of the GCBH governing board, has concluded that doing puzzles and mind games isn’t the most effective way to keep our brains healthy as we get older.

More than 1 in 3 people surveyed by Age UK said that doing puzzles and mind games was likely to be the best way to keep our brains healthy as we get older.

But GCBH, working with Age UK and the AARP, have said in new research that the long-term benefits of these ‘brain games’ are little to non-existent.

Their research showed that if we play a brain game several times, despite getting better at the game, there is little improvement in our thinking abilities.

The research reveals which mentally engaging activities do have a link to keeping our brains sharp.

Examples include learning a language, practicing tai-chi, taking photography classes and investigating your genealogy. Physical activities that involve mental engagement (such as dancing or tennis) are also important.

It is especially important to include social engagement as part of these activities, such as volunteering and mentoring others in your community.

This advice is not just relevant for older people – we should be maintaining our brain health from as young an age as possible.

Professor Linda Clare, of the University of Exeter, said: “‘Engaging in mentally stimulating activities helps to maintain your brain health. This is true at any age – it’s never too late.”

Age UK’s Chief Scientist, James Goodwin explained: ‘Even though it’s never too late to learn something new, the overwhelming message from the report is that you shouldn’t wait until later life to try to maintain your brain health.

The younger you start challenging yourself with mentally stimulating activities, the better your brain function will be as you age.’

Tips from the experts

Myth-busting the brain ageing process

The report has also goes against many of the myths commonly believed about getting older:

Explore further: Want to stay mentally healthy in older age? Stimulate your brain in early life

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How to keep your brain sharp in older age – Medical Xpress

49ers’ love of game versus reality of research – SFGate

Photo: Ben Margot, Associated Press

San Francisco 49ers’ fullback Kyle Juszczyk smiles during a media conference Friday, March 10, 2017, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

San Francisco 49ers’ fullback Kyle Juszczyk smiles during a media conference Friday, March 10, 2017, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

49ers love of game versus reality of research

Kyle Juszczyk might be the only economics major from his graduating class at Harvard who is working a blue-collar job that comes with significant health risks.

His 9-to-5 gig: NFL fullback.

Juszczyk, 26, who signed a four-year, $21 million contract with the 49ers in March, could be doing something else with his Ivy League education. And he was recently asked if hed ever considered how long he wanted to stay in a profession that requires him to routinely run full-speed into 250-pound linebackers.

Yeah, absolutely, Juszczyk said. Definitely. I think any player that tells you they havent put some sort of thought into it, theyre not being truthful with you.

Ive put thought into it, but I love this game so much and I wouldnt take a snap away from my career to leave early. Thats just my feelings on it. This is a game I love so much that Im willing to put it on the line.

Juszczyk spoke last week, four days after a major study generated a new wave of questions about the long-term effects of playing football.

The study published by the American Medical Association examined the brains of deceased former football players and found that 110 of 111 brains of those who played in the NFL had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain condition that can be diagnosed only after death.

On the same day news of the study broke, wide receiver Andrew Hawkins, 31, announced he was retiring from the NFL after six seasons and donating his brain to concussion research. Hawkins said his body wasnt responding during the offseason after he signed with the Patriots in May. Two days after Hawkins exit, Baltimore offensive lineman John Urschel, 26, retired. Urschel is an aspiring chess master who is pursuing his doctorate in math at MIT.

Given the ever-intensifying spotlight on brain trauma and football, several 49ers have been asked during training camp about the potential long-term effects of their job: Do they think about what could await them in retirement?

Yeah, I think about it, tight end Vance McDonald said. And the day I dont think about it, I get reminded from my wife about it. Its really serious. I think honestly that the day that something is released that can connect football to (CTE) its going to change the game dramatically.

Such candor might have been unusual from an NFL player just a few years ago. But the landscape has changed, partly because of the stunning retirement of 49ers linebacker Chris Borland, who cited brain-trauma concerns when he left the NFL in 2015 after a standout rookie season.

More than two years later, its now common for players to at least acknowledge the potential fallout from their playing careers is a concern.

Everybody thinks about it, said center Jeremy Zuttah, 31. Everybody has to make a personal choice.

Said running back Tim Hightower, 31: Youre not oblivious to it.

Left tackle Joe Staley, 32, said: Its definitely on your mind. You see it. Id be lying to you up here if I said I hadnt thought about it. You know the risks playing football The studies are out there. They are what they are. I wouldnt trade my position. Im very happy playing the game of football. Its something I love and will continue to do so.

The majority of players are forging ahead, but some also are making attempts to protect themselves as best as they can.

This season, McDonald is using a helmet with a cushioned outer shell that has been deemed the safest by the teams equipment staff. He says it makes him resemble a bobblehead, but hes not worried about making a fashion statement.

In 2015, after his second concussion of the season, quarterback Brian Hoyer, then with the Texans, visited Dr. Micky Collins, a concussion specialist in Pittsburgh. The meeting inspired him to keep his brain engaged when he was away from football.

The thing that I walked away with is that concussions are treatable, Hoyer said. There are different types of concussions and there are different things you can do. So ever since then, I try to stay on top of things that keep my brain active. I try to read a lot more Theres some brain games you can do. Obviously, we know the risks.

Hoyer used acupuncture to treat both of his concussions in 2015. Hes also used a hyperbaric chamber and an app known as BrainHQ, which has games that are designed to aid concussion recovery.

Still, there is a tacit acknowledgment among players that even as they take steps to protect themselves, they are still taking a leap of faith.

We all understand the risk that weve signed up for, Hightower said. But I cant think about that when Im going into a game. I just have to prepare myself; just trust that Im doing the best that I can and that all will turn out well.

Eric Branch is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: ebranch@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @Eric_Branch

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49ers’ love of game versus reality of research – SFGate

40 things you might not know about Tom Brady – Boston.com

Since his meteoric rise from backup quarterback to Super Bowl champion in the 2001 season, Tom Brady has been the franchise player of the New England Patriots. Hes won five Super Bowls, four Super Bowl MVPs, two NFL MVPs, and made 12 Pro Bowls. But most fans are more than aware of these accolades.

As the Patriots legend turns 40 years old, here are 40 things you might not know about him:

1. He unintentionally dozed off for twenty or thirty minutes before his first Super Bowl.

Prior to the kickoff of Super Bowl XXXVI, Brady navigated the elongated pregame by taking a short nap in the locker room: Twelve minutes later we were running out onto the field.

2. His diet used to be a far cry from the healthy standards he now adheres by.

While Brady is now a strict disciplinarian about what he eats, his rookie year was a little different. He used to eat nachos before games in 2000, when he was a fourth string quarterback. And his go-to lunches were ham-and-cheese subs with onion rings, washed down with orange soda, while his dinners were often pizza.

3. According to Drew Bledsoe, Brady isnt the best skier.

During the offseason, the 40-year-old often frequents the slopes at the Yellowstone Club in Montana. Videos of him skiing sometimes inspire terror in New England fansnot because of his death-defying stunts, but more because of his novice status. As Bledsoe jokingly pointed out when they skied together a few years ago, He was really awful then.

4. Football wasnt the only sport he was drafted to play professionally.

While history will remember him being selected 199th overall by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, Bradys baseball rights were taken by the Montreal Expos in the 18th round of the 1995 MLB Draft. He ultimately chose not to sign.

5. A former Red Sox hero is his brother-in-law.

One of Bradys sisters, Julie, is married to retired Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis.

6. He almost didnt make it to Gillette Stadium in time for the start of his first playoff game.

Due to wintry conditions, Brady was stuck in traffic before the Patriots divisional-round playoff game against the Raiders in January 2002. Only after he got a police escort did the young quarterback reach Foxborough in time.

7. Brady has a Cal Ripken-like streak on the injury report.

With exception of the 2008 seasonwhen he was out for the year with a torn ACL and MCLBrady was listed on every regular-season injury report from 2004-2010because of his right shoulder.

8. All of Bradys siblings earned athletic scholarships.

While Tom attended Michigan on a football scholarship, he was actuallynot the first of his siblings to earn such athletic recognition. Maureen went to Fresno State on a softball scholarship. Julie walked on the St. Marys soccer team before earning a scholarship of her own. And Nancy was recruited to Cal-Berkeley on a scholarship for softball before deciding to pursue another path.

9. He is also not the only of his siblings to be inducted into his home countys Hall of Fame.

Due to her 111-10 career record as a softball pitcher for Hillsdale High Schoolincluding 29 no-hitters and 14 perfect gamesMaureen was inducted into the San Mateo County Hall of Fame in 1999, along with baseball great Moises Alou. Tom was inducted in 2003.

10. Along with his greatest rival, he was once a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the NFL.

During the 2011 NFL lockout, Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and seven other players sued the league on behalf of the players. The suit came to an end when the lockout ended prior to the start of the season.

11. His bedtime is probably earlier than yours.

As part of his strict personal regimen, Brady has adopted specific concessions that he says help him stay at the top of his gameone of them being an early bed time. The five-time Super Bowl winner says he goes to sleep at 8:30 p.m.

12. He was once Patriots fans last choice to be quarterback.

In a team poll conducted in 2000 when Drew Bledsoe was questionable to play, fans slotted Brady dead lastin regards to whom they wanted to start. Michael Bishop (78.5 percent) and John Friesz (12.8 percent) beat out the rookie, who only won over 8.7 percent of vote.

13. Part of his daily routine includes brain games.

In a Sports Illustrated profile from early 2017, Brady showcased how he uses brain games on his laptop or iPad to help stay sharp.

14. Only one team has a winning record against Brady in his career (so far).

Although Brady is a combined 24-0 against the Bears, Buccaneers, Cowboys, Falcons, Jaguars, and Vikings in regular-season games, he actually has a losing record against one team in the league. In both regular-season and postseason games, Brady is 7-9 against the Broncos.

15. Rookies are not his favorite Super targets.

Before Malcolm Mitchells seven-yard reception in the first quarter of Super Bowl LIBradys seventh appearance on footballs biggest stagehe had never completed a Super Bowl pass to a rookie receiver.

16. He bought his first house from former Patriots cornerback Ty Law.

Using part of his $38,500 signing bonus from his rookie contract, Brady bought a house from Law located in Franklin for $265,000. To help pay for it, he initially had two teammates live with him.

17. He says he dominated mini golf in college.

Im the champ right here, Brady once declared in a 1998 Detroit Free Press story, referencing his putt-putt abilities amidst the Michigan football teams collective obsession with miniature golf.

18. Patriots owner Robert Kraft treats Brady like a fifth son.

Kraft still remembers the first time the pair met before Bradys second year in the NFL: He came down in training camp and introduced himself. Here was this skinny beanpole, with this pizza under his arm. He says, Im Tom Brady.

19. Brady says he has never had a sip of coffee.

When Brady arises at 5:30 a.m., coffee isnt a part of his morning routine. Not even Dunkin Donuts. For one reason or another, I never had coffee or anything like that, he said on WEEI. I just never tried it.

20. On the sidelines, Brady drinks a specially prepared concoction instead of Gatorade.

I have this lemon drink with a ton of electrolytes in it, Brady said on WEEI. It doesnt have any sugar. I just load it up on electrolytes and it just keeps me right where I need to be.

21. He once wrote a paper proclaiming that he was going to become a household name.

Throughout his younger years, Brady was largely known by his relation to his three older sisters, but he longed for the day when they would be known as Tom Bradys sisters. He reportedly told his mother, One day, Im going to be a household name.

22. His yearbook quote was one of ambition.

Under his senior photo, Brady wrote: If you want to play with the big boys, youve got to learn to play in the tall grass. He also gave a shoutout to his family.

23. In high school, Brady was the backup to the backup quarterback on a winless freshmen football team.

The young squad went 0-8 and scored only two offensive touchdowns that season. The starting QB, Kevin Krystofiak, ended up quitting football the very next year to pursue basketball.

24. He didnt always play quarterback.

Before he was a legendary quarterbackor even just a high school varsity quarterbackBrady was going through drills as an outside linebacker on his freshman team. That year, he actually got more reps on the line of scrimmage than in the pocket. And according to one of his teammates, he not only wasnt a pushover but also wanted to go up against our big fullback.

25. He led a game-winning drive in his first-ever JV football game.

Were down five with two minutes to go and he led us on a game-winning drive, former teammate John Kirby recalled. It was awesome. Its just like he does all the time now. Whenever he was in the huddle, he always seemed in control. He never panicked. He was always motivational, not negative. If we were way down hed say, Cmon, lets get this going. He never yelled or blamed.

26. During his junior and senior years of high school, Brady had an 11-9 record as a starting quarterback.

Despite being considered one of the Bay Areas hottest young players by a local TV station, Bradys winning percentage as a starter at Junpero Serra High School was just .550.

27. Brady wasnt the happiest camper during the first half of The Catch game.

At four years old, he attended the 1981 NFC Championship at Candlestick Park but cried throughout the beginning of the contestbecause he wanted a foam finger. The crying ceased after his father bought him one for the second half.

28. His car was once pranked by Bledsoe.

In 2000, Bledsoe pranked his then-understudy so that when Brady turned on his car, it unleashed a blizzard of glitter.

29. Kraft once confused him with another Brady.

In one of their first interactions, Kraft erroneously called Brady Kyle,as he likely mistook the quarterback for atight end in the league at the time who shared a surname.

30. In the same conversation, he told Kraft a prophetic message.

Both Kraft and Brady have recalled the eerily predictive assertion a young Brady made in their very first meeting: Im the best decision this organization has ever made.

31. Hes attended the State of the Union address.

In 2004, Brady attended George W. Bushs State of the Union address to Congress. He was personally invited by Laura Bush and was evenbriefly shown on TV.

32. Brady was drafted by the Patriots using a compensatory pick.

Due to the loss of several free agents in 1999, the Patriots were awarded a compensatory pick, the 199th, which they used to select Brady.

33. He reportedly only wanted to live on the 12th floor of his apartment.

Proving his adoration for his jersey number, Brady paid extra so that he could switch from the 11th floor of a New York City apartment to the 12th.

34. Brady has scored more rushing touchdowns than many of the running backs from the 2000 draft.

With 17 career rushing touchdowns, Brady has accrued more TDs than 13 of the 20 running backs taken in his draft class, including first-round pick Trung Candidate.

35. His first NFL pass completion actually didnt count.

Making his debut at the end of a 34-9 loss to the Lions in 2000, Brady completed a pass to running back J.R. Redmond. Yet what should have been a milestone moment was cut short by a Damien Woody penalty.

36. He was once just a Merrill Lynch intern.

In the summers of 1998 and 1999, Brady was an assistant to a senior sales broker at Merrill Lynch, according to a copy of his resume from when he was at Michigan:

37. He had a 103-degree fever 24 hours before the 2004 AFC Championship.

As a Sports Illustrated feature explained in great depth, Brady had an IV in his left arm and desperately tried to recuperate a day before facing the Steelers in the AFC Championship in 2004. He shrugged it off, leading the Patriots to a 41-27 win and another trip to the Super Bowl.

38. Brady has thrown touchdown passes to 65 different players over the course of his 17-year career.

Despite playing for only one team in his NFL career, Brady has thrown touchdown passes to 65 different receivers. Only Vinny Testaverde, who played for eight teams, has morewith 70.

39.He uses babe as a term of endearment for those close to him, regardless of gender.

Dont be surprised if you hear Brady tossing the word, babe, around the locker room. A habit picked up from his father, hes used the nickname on both offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and his teammates. According to an anonymous teammate, Its the California boy in him, I guess.

40. Brady and his wife Gisele Bndchen have three dogs.

The most recent addition was a rescue dog, Fluffy, which they adopted from Wags and Walks in Los Angeles. The other two are another rescue pup, Scooby, and a pit bull mix named Lua, who actually starred in an UGG Australia commercial with Brady.

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40 things you might not know about Tom Brady – Boston.com

Report challenges claims of cognitive benefits of online brain … – CBS News

NEW YORK — Can you keep your mind sharp — as you age — by playing so-called brain games?

A report Tuesday by AARP focused on what has become a $1.3 billion business.

Ads for online brain-training games tout their cognitive benefits saying they improve memory, brain speed and attention. But the report called the evidence behind these claims of cognitive benefits “weak to nonexistent.”

Sarah Lock, executive director of the AARP’s Global Council on Brain Health, shed light on the report.

Sarah Lock, executive director of the AARP’s Global Council on Brain Health

CBS News

“They might get better at the game but what we don’t know is how that’s going to affect your everyday functioning,” Lock told CBS News. “So you might get better at the game but it’s not going to help you manage your finances any better.”

Training to improve one type of cognitive ability — like memory — doesn’t end up improving other skills such as how fast you process information.

And the report says there’s often exaggerating when these products are marketed.

Last year, the FTC fined the makers of Luminosity $2 million for claiming its games could help users reduce or delay age-related cognitive impairment.

The good news is that cognitively stimulating activities are easy to find, such as learning a new skill. At the Greenwich House Senior Center, Betty Tiago is taking up art.

“I think anything creative helps to stimulate your brain,” Tiago said.

CBS News

Other ideas to help improve cognitive benefits are activities that are novel and require focus and have a level of depth and engagement.

Some recommendations from the AARP include:

Taking on a new skill can help stimulate cognitive growth.

CBS News

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Report challenges claims of cognitive benefits of online brain … – CBS News

49ers’ Joe Staley, Brian Hoyer, Kyle Juszczyk reflect on latest CTE study – ESPN (blog)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Early last week, just a couple of days before the majority of NFL teams opened their training camps, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a new study that found chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease, in 110 out of 111 deceased former NFL players.

The discovery of CTE, which can only be diagnosed after death, in 99 percent of the former NFL players who had agreed to the test was startling for a trio of current San Francisco 49ers players. As one might expect, such a development was enough for active players such as quarterback Brian Hoyer, left tackle Joe Staley and fullback Kyle Juszczyk to step back and take another opportunity to ponder their place in the game.

Although all three noted that the study was centered on players who had suffered from head injuries in their careers, they also acknowledged that the results were eye-opening.

“I think any player who tells you that they havent put some sort of thought into it, they are not being truthful with you,” Juszczyk said. “Its a scary statistic, and I think if you dive into those stats, youll see it wasnt a perfect test. It was guys who have already shown symptoms and have volunteered because they wanted to find out exactly whats going on. I think theres a lot more studies that can go into it, but its still there and its definitely something you have to be concerned of as a player.”

Staley struck a similar tone.

“I mean, its definitely on your brain,” Staley said, pardoning the pun. “Its on your mind. You see it. Id be lying to you up here if I didnt say I dont think about it. You know the risks playing football. I heard Brian [Hoyer] talk about it, and I believe youve got to be proactive in the treatments and what you do for yourself in keeping your brain active and occupied, especially after the game of football is done. Youve got to treat it just like any kind of injury. Youve got to rehab it and do what you can do to try to stay ahead of it.”

For Hoyer, the issue hits a little closer to home, given his history with head injuries. During the 2015 season, Hoyer dealt with a pair of concussions in a month’s span that caused him to miss three games late in the season. In his efforts to heal from those injuries, Hoyer was proactive in trying various recovery methods.

Hoyer went to such lengths as investing in a hyperbaric chamber, going through acupuncture therapy and installing and using an app called Brain Headquarters, which offers mental games intended to help with concussion rehab.

In addition to those treatments, Hoyer also did plenty of research on his own and paid a visit to Dr. Micky Collins, a brain specialist based in Pittsburgh. The 31-year-old signal-caller said his biggest takeaway from those sessions is that the best way to deal with concussions is to treat and rehabilitate from them as one might with other injuries.

“Theres different types of concussions, and theres different things you can do,” Hoyer said. “So, ever since then, I try to stay on top of things that keep my brain active. I try to read a lot more; I wasnt very much of a reader. My high school teachers will probably tell you I didnt do well on my summer reading assignments. You try to read a lot more; theres some brain games you can do.

“Obviously, we know the risks as NFL players. Obviously, theres a lot of studies out there. But Im pretty confident with the changes of technology, equipment getting better, obviously our medical staff being better. You prepare for those situations, and after talking to some specialists, obviously theres some risk involved, but I think theres also a way to make sure you take care of yourself and do the things that are proper. Diet, exercises — you know, you can exercise your brain too — so thats something Ive kind of talked about implementing into your training regimen. Theres things that you can do for that too.

To be sure, concussion research is still in development, and there’s plenty more to learn about the long-term effect of those injuries. For at least three Niners, attention will continue to be paid to what that research reveals, even if it doesn’t change their minds about taking on the risks that come with playing the game.

“Ive put thought into it, but I love this game so much I wouldnt take a snap away from my career to leave early,” the 26-year-old Juszczyk said. “Thats just my feelings on it. This is a game that I love so much that Im willing to put it on the line.”

Staley offered his thoughts on the matter.

“The studies are out there. They are what they are, but I dont think, I mean, I wouldnt trade my position,” Staley, 32, said. “Im very happy playing the game of football. Its something I love and I continue to do so.”

Original post:
49ers’ Joe Staley, Brian Hoyer, Kyle Juszczyk reflect on latest CTE study – ESPN (blog)

Brain Trauma Scientists Turn Their Attention to Soccer – WIRED

The mountain of evidence connecting professional football and long-term brain damage grew this week with publication of a new study that examined the brains of former NFL players. Boston University scientists found 110 of the 111 post-mortem brains showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated hits to the head. Linemen had it the worst, while punters seemed to escape relatively unharmed.

This kind of brain damage and the NFLs responseor lack thereofhas dogged the league for the past decade. Football has seen class action lawsuits, congressional hearings, and efforts to make the game safer by banning certain hits and designing new helmets. But neurologists involved in this new study, as well as other experts, say another sport may rival footballs impact on the brain: soccer.

Soccer isnt usually considered a contact sport, although gameplay hits can result in concussions. Soccer has repetitive impacts, from player to player and players heading the ball, says Boston Universitys Ann McKee, an author of this weeks study of NFL players. It doesnt matter how you do it, just that you do it and do it repetitively. And with 265 million players worldwide, soccer represents a potentially huge pool of head injury patients.

One US pro soccer team, DC United, lost six players to retirement over the past decade due to concussions, while another two players missed playing time this season with head injuries. In a recent lawsuit against the team and its coach, former DC United goalkeeper Charlie Horton said one of his teammates elbowed his head on purpose in 2016, giving him a concussion and ending his professional career. And in 2015, the US Soccer Federation, the sports governing body, settled a proposed class action lawsuit by limiting heading by youth soccer players.

Lawsuits arent scientific evidence, but an increase indicates that players are concerned about how their sport responds to concussions and the possible long-term risk of brain disease. Case studies have shown that retired professional English and Brazilian soccer players with a history of concussions can later show signs of dementia; autopsies revealed CTE-riddled brains. In April, BU researchers reported on the case of a former American high school soccer player who had 19 soccer-related concussions, a history of depression and mental health problems who died aged 24 of a drug overdose. An autopsy revealed that he also had CTE, according to a report in the journal Neurology.

Those case studies have limited scientific value, of course; to nail down the connection between soccer and brain damage, the sport will need bigger sample sizes. The big difference between soccer and football is the number of former NFL players and their families who have come forward asking for help from the medical community. McKees group in Boston has set up a brain bank where families of ex-football players (pro and college athletes) who are worried about their mental state can donate their brains for research. So far they have received 425 brains; CTE has been found in 270 of them. That kind of focused research effort hasnt yet been developed for soccer.

Even in the case of football-related brain injuries, theres no absolute proof that concussions cause CTE. In fact, scientists say that it may be the less powerful sub-concussive hits that both football and soccer players receive all the time that could trigger the disease. But at New Yorks Albert Einstein College of Medicine, neuroscientist Michael Lipton has been working to identify the trigger. In soccer, where you have people repeatedly hitting their head over time, says Lipton, the question is how much does it take to lead to a pathology that rises to a level where there are functional effects.

To answer that question, Lipton has been following a group of recreational soccer players in New York City for the past few years. About 400 active players participate in his Einstein Soccer Study: They come in to the lab to get a scan of their brain and some blood work, and then they are asked to perform brain games on a tablet to test their cognitive abilities. Lipton uses diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging, which allows him to map changes in the brains white matter.

In 2013, Lipton reported in the journal Neuroradiology that repeated heading the balleven without getting a concussionis associated with cognitive problems and physical changes to the structure of the brain. Players head the ball, on average, six to 12 times per game, trying to deflect balls that travel up to 50 miles per hour in recreational games. In practice, players head the ball up to 30 or more times in a row during drills. Liptons study suggests that initial problems with memory began at 1,800 headers.

Now, that study only examined 37 playersa small sample that isnt big enough to establish a clear-cut connection. But with a larger sample size of several hundred participants, Lipton is looking to identify some kind of biological change in the brain over time. There is clearly something going on, but what it means for the long term requires more work, he says.

Finding that tipping pointbeyond which a professional or recreational player should probably retire or take a break from heading the ballwould be a huge relief for everyone who loves the game.

McKee notes that the only way to determine CTE is through an autopsy. But she and other medical researchers are hoping to find some kind of biomarker, a protein in blood or urine perhaps, that signals the beginning stages of CTE. That kind of information would give the player a yellow or red warning card that maybe its time to pick up checkers or croquet. Until then, the only thing that can quell the damage is taking a break from repetitive hitswhether theyre from a defensive linebacker or a soccer ball to the head.

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Brain Trauma Scientists Turn Their Attention to Soccer – WIRED


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